A fallacious leap? Ancestral and derived traits

So far, I don’t think anyone has read my latest publication in its entirety, before commenting on what they think I don’t know or understand. After reading little more than 7 pages (10 with references), it should become clearer that I have simply incorporated the basic principles of biology and levels of biological organization required to link sensory cause and effect across species. See for example:  Feedback loops link odor and pheromone signaling with reproduction.

Nevertheless, a correspondent says I am making a fallacious leap from what is known about the ancestral state of odor-guided behavior in microbes to explanations of current state-dependent behaviors of other organisms. He argues that just because olfaction is an ancestral trait doesn’t mean all species use it. Different creatures may have derived other sensory modalities to navigate their social and non social environments. Thus, the notion of “ancestral” and “derived” traits may be central to understanding the evolution of behavior…or anything else.

I enjoy incorporating concepts that others think I don’t understand into responses that reflect my understanding – as I hope will be the case with the notion of ancestral and derived traits. Although I cannot force anyone to read my works, I remain hopeful that those who challenge me on the basis of their notions/assumptions will first learn what I know about the concepts they think they understand.

To those who first read my most recent work, it should also become clearer that a “fallacious leap” can be found in attempts by others to link the spectral senses directly to mammalian reproduction with no consideration either for evolved bottom-up organization or for top-down effects on the required gene, cell, tissue, organ, organ system pathway. For example, there is no scientific support for any derived notion/assumption that spectral input is involved in “…an ancestral recognition system that discriminates between self and non-self (whose function is expected to have been in sexual selection) was incorporated into the quality-control system for an evolutionary new discrimination system (using randomized receptor specificities) while retaining a function in sexual selection.” Simply put, self and non-self recognition is required for receptor mediated events in sexual selection and there is no ancestral need for input from the spectral senses.

In contrast, with the full scientific support of others, I offer the honeybee as a model organism that links the ancestral recognition system of microbes to the study of this derived “quality-control system” in the evolution of epigenetically altered receptor-mediated events in human immunity, disease resistance, allergic reaction, circadian rhythms, antibiotic resistance, the development of the brain and behavior, mental health, longevity, diseases of the X chromosome, learning and memory, as well as conditioned responses to sensory stimuli.

If my focus on the ancestral olfactory/pheromonal calibration, standardization, and the derived “quality-control system” of species-specific behaviors has caused me to miss something about the notion of “ancestral” and “derived” traits that is important to the evolution of human behavior, I will need some species-specific data on the derived relative incentive salience of spectral input compared to its ancestral role. Until then, I see the involvement of the spectral senses only as an adjunct in the context of understanding the evolution of reproductive sexual behavior…or anything else.

As I’ve already repeatedly indicated, claims that spectral input is more important to the evolved behavior of birds or fish continue to fall by the wayside as newer data consistently supports the ancestral olfactory/pheromonal model, which can be tracked back to its origins in brewer’s yeast, or more speculatively to its origins in other microbes where nutrient chemical-dependent calibrated reproduction is standardized and controlled by pheromones and quorum sensing.

About James V. Kohl 1307 Articles
James Vaughn Kohl was the first to accurately conceptualize human pheromones, and began presenting his findings to the scientific community in 1992. He continues to present to, and publish for, diverse scientific and lay audiences, while constantly monitoring the scientific presses for new information that is relevant to the development of his initial and ongoing conceptualization of human pheromones. Recently, Kohl integrated scientific evidence that pinpoints the evolved neurophysiological mechanism that links olfactory/pheromonal input to genes in hormone-secreting cells of tissue in a specific area of the brain that is primarily involved in the sensory integration of olfactory and visual input, and in the development of human sexual preferences. His award-winning 2007 article/book chapter on multisensory integration: The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences followed an award winning 2001 publication: Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology, which was coauthored by disinguished researchers from Vienna. Rarely do researchers win awards in multiple disciplines, but Kohl’s 2001 award was for neuroscience, and his 2007 “Reiss Theory” award was for social science. Kohl has worked as a medical laboratory scientist since 1974, and he has devoted more than twenty-five years to researching the relationship between the sense of smell and the development of human sexual preferences. Unlike many researchers who work with non-human subjects, medical laboratory scientists use the latest technology from many scientific disciplines to perform a variety of specialized diagnostic medical testing on people. James V. Kohl is certified with: * American Society for Clinical Pathology * American Medical Technologists James V. Kohl is a member of: * Society for Neuroscience * Society for Behavioral Neuroendocrinology * Association for Chemoreception Sciences * Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality * International Society for Human Ethology * American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science * Mensa, the international high IQ society